Beauty vlogger Remi Cruz is changing up her beauty routine for one important reason.
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Garnier Beauty Responsibly

One day, beauty guru and YouTube vlogger Remi Cruz was in her bathroom when it struck her: She had a lot of beauty products.

She started counting: one, two, three … 19, 20, 21. She used around 21 products every single morning — and most of these products were in plastic bottles and containers and had ended up in the trash when she was done using them.

After all, at that time, she didn't know if they could be recycled or not. It made her realize that her impact on the planet was a lot bigger than she'd thought.


All photos via Upworthy.

Remi Cruz is not alone in using a lot of beauty products that come in plastic containers. The average woman uses 12 different beauty products every single day, but only half of Americans are recycling the empty containers these products come in. As a result, beauty products are a huge part of the 79% of plastic waste that ends up in landfills.

"It completely blew my mind to think how much [plastic] I had wasted," Remi says.

She knew she had to do something to change her impact — that's why she got involved with the Garnier and Do Something.org "Rinse, Recycle, Repeat" campaign.

She found out that most of plastic containers could, in fact, be recycled. Even the plastic tops — the screw-on caps and pumps on many beauty products — can be recycled.

"I feel like not many people [know] that — and I definitely didn't," Remi says.

Once you recycle these items, you can do a lot of good. Recycling just one shampoo bottle can power a lightbulb for three hours. That means the 21 beauty products Remi uses can be repurposed to make the world a little brighter.

That meant that one simple addition to her bathroom — a recycling bin — could make all the difference. Only 14% of households have one in their bathroom. But for Remi, that small addition helped recycling become a regular part of her beauty routine. "I don't have to think twice about it," she says.

Once she gathered up all those recycled plastic bottles and containers, she would then send them off to be recycled into something new and awesome.

In fact, to make the recycling process even easier, some big beauty brands are offering to help when it comes to beauty product recycling. Garnier, for example, has partnered with TerraCycle to make the recycling process easier and efficient for anyone who has collected 10 or more pounds of recyclable products.

All you have to do is visit Garnier's website and print a shipping label to send all that plastic to TerraCycle. They cover the cost of shipping, whether it's a Garnier product or not, in an effort to "beauty responsibly."

Once your products arrive at TerraCycle, they are recycled into something the entire community can enjoy, like a picnic table (which takes about 5,700 shampoo bottles) or a park bench (which takes around 1,200).

Most people think of recycling plastics as a complicated process. But Remi says it starts by simply educating ourselves.

Remi began learning more about eco-friendly beauty through her work with Garnier. They’ve made sustainability an important part of their mission, including the reduction of plastic waste. In fact, since 2011, Garnier has helped recycle over 10,000,000 beauty product containers. And this year, they're working to get a million more recycled.

"Since working with Garnier last year, I've learned so much about how I can make such a difference and how one person can really make such a huge change," Remi says.

We only get one planet, which makes doing our part more important than ever. Thankfully, the little things can add up.

"It's really important to remember that everybody can make a change," Remi says.

A bathroom recycling bin might seem like a small place to start, but working together, Remi is confident that everyone — beauty guru or otherwise — can help keep plastics out of landfills, starting with their morning routine.

"Hopefully, at the end of this year, we can keep a million more beauty products out of the landfills," Remi adds. "I think that'd be amazing."

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."